Vitaly Petrov eyes points in Abu Dhabi despite slow start in practice
|By Edd Straw||Friday, November 11th 2011, 16:23 GMT|
Vitaly Petrov has not given up hope of a points finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix despite Renault's weakness in slow corners.
The Russian ended Friday practice 13th fastest, 2.361s off the pace, and spent much of practice evaluating new ideas, including a new steering column, for use next season.
He is hopeful of being within striking distance of the top 10 despite what he admitted was "not a great" day of practice.
"We are not far from the top 10," said Petrov when asked by AUTOSPORT if he believes scoring points will be possible. "But maybe it will be difficult to fight with the guys in front.
"This race will be better than Singapore because Singapore was more dirty and bumpy. That's when you need more downforce from the rear, but here the track is quite smooth.
"Maybe tomorrow the track will be more clean because of the GP2 race and more F1 running, so it will be better for us. We have an idea of what to do tomorrow because we are struggling in second-gear corners."
Petrov believes that qualifying will be crucial for Sunday's race because he is not anticipating overtaking being any easier in the race than it was last year.
The Renault driver famously kept Fernando Alonso behind him for much of last year's race, ruining the Spaniard's world championship chances.
"Overtaking here will be similar to last year even with the DRS because of the track configuration," he said.